To protect national security, policy must be based on reality, not lies we tell ourselves.
Double standards plague the U.S. national dialogue about policy toward the Mideast. They are so pervasive that media editors consistently publish articles whose bias would get them a scornful F in any decent university. More seriously, this bias leads to a self-defeating groupthink that prevents even the imagining of the actual range of policy options.
It is time for a zero-based review of U.S. Mideast policy.
- Step 1. Identify desired standards.
- Step 2. See which countries adhere to these standards and which do not.
- Step 3. Hand out approval, support, and aid accordingly.
Here are a few standards, for those who think we are being too rough on that poor little pioneer nuclear power that believes security is a zero-sum game:
- does the state in question sail nuclear-capable submarines close enough to an adversary's shoreline to constitute a military threat?
- does the state in question practice collective punishment in a period of relative peace (as opposed to during full-scale war) against an ethnic minority under its control?
- does the state in question have colonies deemed illegal by the U.N.?
- does the state in question enforce apartheid in such colonies?
- has the state in question invaded any of its neighbors recently?
- does the state in question stockpile nuclear weapons and at the same time reject nuclear transparency?
If so, that state is a force for long-term instability and therefore a threat to U.S. national security. Act accordingly.